MegaBots beat Japan in ultimate giant-robot smackdown

In the "first ever giant robot battle," mammoth machines from MegaBots and Suidobashi Heavy Industry fight for the world title using attack drones and more.

Things get heated between the US and Japan. 
Video screenshot by Bonnie Burton/CNET

Move over, Transformers! Massive robots built by US company MegaBots and Japan's Suidobashi Heavy Industry fought face to mechanical face in an exciting duel on Tuesday night via Amazon's online steaming site, Twitch TV, with MegaBots emerging victorious. 

The fight was originally recorded in a Japan-based abandoned steel mill in September. The match got so heated in the third round, the bots knocked down sets, causing onsite commentators to frantically rush out of the way. (Yeah, the drama might have been staged, but it was still exciting.)

MegaBots co-founders Gui Cavalcanti and Matt Oehrlein operated their intimidating robot from the inside, working together as pilot and gunner. 

Team USA used two different robots -- one called Iron Glory for the first round and another called Eagle Prime for the second round. 

Iron Glory measures 15 feet (about 4.5 meters) tall and weighed 6 tons, while Eagle Prime measures 16 feet (about 4.9 meters) tall and weighed 12 tons.

Suidobashi Heavy Industry's fighting robot, named Kuratas, was slightly smaller and a lot lighter at about 13 feet (about 4 meters) tall and weighed about 6.5 tons.

"We're sitting on top of [a] 430-horsepower Corvette engine," Cavalcanti told NPR. "You can actually feel the robot just kind of shaking and quaking around you as you get punched, as you lean into a turn, as you fire the weapons or throw a punch."

All robots came equipped with their own arsenal of weapons. Iron Glory fought using paintball cannons. Eagle Prime fought using cannons and Japan's fighting robot used a half-ton fist, which gave it a powerful punch.

Robot battle winners were determined on whether the contestant's robot was disabled or destroyed, or if the pilot surrendered.

USA's MegaBots robot Eagle Prime and Japan's Suidobashi Heavy Industry robot Kuratas fight to the death.

Video screenshot by Bonnie Burton/CNET

In the first round, Iron Glory was knocked out right away by Kuratas' impressive punch. In the second, the other MegaBots robot Eagle Prime went up against Kuratas. The battle included Kuratas trying to distract Eagle Prime with a pesky drone that it swatted away successfully. The two giant robots then punched each other, but ended up getting stuck to each other.

In the third round, Eagle Prime destroyed Kuratas using its massive chainsaw to cut open the robot, and in the end, USA's MegaBots won the overall match.

This battle was a long time coming, considering the two robotics companies were busy honing their giant robots for two years. Last year, MegaBots built, tested, destroyed and rebuilt Eagle Prime to be the ultimate fighting machine, often posting videos of their progress on YouTube.

Sadly, not all the viewers watching the robot battle were impressed.

The MegaBots team hopes this match will drum up enough interest for a new giant-robot sports league that fights inside arenas and stadiums in the future.

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